Adult Disability Payment pilot opens for new applications
The new Adult Disability Payment has opened for applications from people living in three pilot areas.
People can apply who live in Dundee City, Perth & Kinross and Western Isles council areas, are aged between 16 and state pension age, and are disabled, have a long-term health condition or have a terminal illness.
This is the twelfth benefit to be introduced by the Scottish Government, with seven of these benefits being brand new forms of support that are not available elsewhere in the UK.
Adult Disability Payment will be administered through Social Security Scotland and will replace Personal Independence Payment, which is currently delivered by the Department for Work and Pensions.
People with ongoing awards of Personal Independence Payment and Disability Living Allowance do not need to make an application for Adult Disability Payment. Their awards will transfer to the Scottish social security system automatically from this summer.
Further council areas will be introduced in phases until Adult Disability Payment is rolled out nationwide on 29 August.
Minister for social security, Ben Macpherson, said: “Social security is a human right and none of us know when we might need it – it is a shared investment to help build a fairer society, together. We are developing a system that is rooted in trust to make sure people can access the support that they are entitled to.
“Launching this first Adult Disability Payment pilot is a significant milestone, as we start to deliver our biggest and most complex benefit. We are taking a positive and compassionate approach to delivering disability assistance, centred around our principles of dignity, fairness and respect.
“We know people have found applying for disability benefits stressful in the past. That is why we have listened to their experiences and have designed our service to work for people, not against them. We are ensuring that accessing Adult Disability Payment is as straightforward as possible and we will always start from a position of trust.
“Importantly, in the Scottish system no one will be subject to Department for Work and Pensions style assessments and we will never use the private sector to carry out health examinations. There won’t be any degrading functional examinations, such as asking a client to ‘touch their toes’.. These changes have been welcomed by those with lived experience, who we have worked with to design this benefit.”
He added: “People will only be invited to a consultation on occasions when we require more information so we can make a decision. This will be a conversation with a health and social care professional to understand how an individual’s disability or health condition impacts them.
“We are committed to giving people timely decisions, but our priority is making the right decisions first time and sometimes this may take a bit longer. This will reduce the need for people to go through a redetermination or appeal.
“Adult Disability Payment is there to support people to live well and provide security at the most difficult of times. I would encourage those who think they could be eligible to check and apply.”
Tracy McNally, director of Dundee Citizens Advice Bureau, added: “Helping people with social security payments, and disability payments in particular, is one of the biggest things we do and we’re excited that Dundee is one of the pilot areas for the roll out of adult disability payments.
“It’s really important that the new system is rooted in dignity and respect for applicants, and doesn’t cause unnecessary stress or anxiety.
“We’d encourage anyone who may eligible for the support to apply, and if anyone ever needs help or advice on social security issues, your local CAB is here for you.”